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Make a Difference - Be a Hospice Volunteer

February 23, 2018

If you're seeking an enriching volunteer experience, consider joining the Fellowship Garden State Hospice team as a volunteer. 

Volunteers play a critical role in hospice care by supporting terminally ill patients, their families and our interdisciplinary team of care providers.  Fellowship Garden State Hospice has many volunteer opportunities available:

Spend time with a terminally ill patient, as a friendly visitor, to read, play a game, listen to music, or just chat.  

If you have barbering or hairdressing skills, share them!  We all feel better after a little professional grooming; this is especially true for those who aren't well.

It's widely acknowleded that music is comforting to patients.  Bring your instrument or sing to lift the spirits of a hospice patient.

Hospice bereavement care continues for up to 13 months following the patient's death.  Volunteers can phone or visit grieving family members.

If you prefer not to be directly involved with patients, we welcome volunteer assistance in the in the hospice office, located at
Fellowship Village in Basking Ridge.

How do you become a Fellowship Garden State Hospice volunteer?

Volunteers who work directly with patients and their families should be good listeners, compassionate, empathetic and comfortable in the presence of the terminally ill.   Special talents or skills, as decribed above are a welcome bonus, but not necessary.

Fellowship Garden State Hospice will be offering a free training program at Fellowship Village to educate participants about hospice care and the role of volunteers. It will include all the information you need to feel knowledgable and comfortable.  (For more information about Fellowship Garden State Hospice, see our February 22, 2018 Blog below.)

Applicants will need to provide a current physical examination, show a negative PPD or chest w-ray result and undergo a background check.

For more information, contact:

Nicole Atorino, 908-966-0886, natorino@fellowshipsl.org

Carolyn Vadimski, 908-432-7277, cvadimski@fellowshipsl.org

Introducing Fellowship Garden State Hospice

February 22, 2018

Fellowship Garden State Hospice is the newest program to join Fellowship Senior Living's array of home community based services.  Dedicated to offering compassion and support to terminally ill patients and their familiies, the Fellowship Garden State Hospice team serves residents of Essex, Hunterdon, Morris Somerset, Union and Warren counties.

Hospice is based on the belief that each person has the right to die pain-free and with dignity. It helps patients live as fully and confortably as possible, with an emphasis on symptom relief and pain management. The hospice team works with those who are suffering the effects of terminal illnesses that include cancer, advanced cardiac disorders, neurological disorders and any end-stage disease.

Some Common Hospice Myths and Misconceptions

Hospice is a place: Hospice is a philosophy of care, delivered wherever the patient calls home-in a private residence, assisted living, nursing home, free-standing hospice care center, or a residential community.

Hospice care means that death is imminent and is given in the last few days or weeks of life: Receiving hospice care is not about giving up. On the contrary, maximum benefit occurs when hospice is started early and the hospice team can forge meaningful relationships. Introducing hospice care months, rather than weeks in advance, gives the patient and family time to address other issues. 

Hospice hastens death: Hospice provides pain relief, emotional and spiritual support for patients; thus easing the transition from life to death. Hospice seeks to allow dying to take place naturally. Some individuals actually show improvement as their pain is managed and quality of life is enhanced.

Hospice care is expensive:  Hospice is not a financial burden. Services are covered by Medicare A, Medicaid, and many private insurers. Benefit periods are renewable.

About Fellowship Garden State Hospice

Hospice care requires an interdisciplinary approach to adddress the medical, spiritual and social needs of patients and families. 

The Fellowship Garden State Hospice team consists of:

A Medical Director whose responsibilities include certifying patient eligibility, providing medical supervision to the care team, and consulting with the patient's atending physician.

The Nursing Supervisor and team of RNs coordinate care, visit patients and perform medical treatments, pain management and symptom control.

A Social Worker assesses the patient's and family's emotional and social needs and provides guidance and counseling.

The Chaplain offers spiritual counseling to the patient and family based on their personal beliefs.  The Chaplain also provides grief counseling to the family up to 13 months following the patient's death and supports the entire hospice team.

Certified Home Health Aides supplement the care provided by the family and the hospice team.  CHHAs work under the supervision of an RN.

Volunteers assist the families and the hospice team, and are supervised by a Volunteer Coordinator.

Call 908-580-9519 to learn more about Fellowship Garden State Hospice.

To Move or to Stay - Exploring Your Senior Living Options

February 9, 2018

The good news in the world of senior living is that there are so many options from which to choose. However, the variety and scope of options can be overwhelming.  Don't let that stop you from planning the next chapter of your life.  Working with a trusted expert will help you navigate the maze of choices and find the right fit for you.

Start by having a frank conversation with your spouse, companion, adult children or extended family members. Discuss your wishes and desires for your future. Never assume that others understand or share your vision.  The goal is to clarify your needs and move forward with their support.

Many older adults prefer to "age in place" and choose to remain at home over moving to a senior community. If you decide to stay, take a hard look at your current abode.  If your mobility becomes impaired,  does your home have stairs to access the bedrooms or laundry area? Try to imagine what your needs will be as you age, and how much maintenance is required to keep your home.  You may want to consider downsizing to a condo or apartment with one floor.  

Senior living communities include over-55 communities, independent or assisted living,  and life plan communities (formerly known as continuing care retirement communities or CCRC's).  If you are considering such a community, visit several times and make sure you understand your financial obligations and the contract terms.
Fellowship Senior Living has been a trusted resource for over 22 years, with a full array of lifestyle and healthcare choices that enable seniors to live as independently as possible in their own homes or at Fellowship Village in Basking Ridge.
Fellowship Senior Living's home community based services offer a wide range of options; from home health and companion care, to comprehensive plans that serve as an alternative to long-term care insurance.  

If you prefer moving to a community for older adults, you'll find every level of residential living at Fellowship Village; with independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing care, and memory care. Numerous amenities, activities, and healthcare services are also available, including a comprehensive Medical Center and state-of-the-art Rehabilitation and Wellness Center.

Finding a trusted and experienced provider of senior living services is the key to navigating the maize of choices available.  Fellowship Senior Living has set the standard for quality care and service to seniors. An experienced team of professionals is ready to explain the benefits of each option and help you design the best plan for your future.  

When Keeping Your Loved One At Home Means Bringing In Help

January 29, 2018

Whether you’ve been providing care for a month, a year, or a decade,  you’ve clearly dedicated yourself to ensuring that your loved one has the best care and quality of life possible for as long as possible. However, there may come a time when outside help is needed. This may be necessary on a temporary basis or it may be crucial to keeping your loved one safe at home for an indefinate period of time.  Understanding professional home care services will help you make the best decisions and feel in control.

What Is Home Care?

The term "home care" represents a wide range of community-based services, from supporting someone who is recuperating from an acute situation, such as a hip fracture; to providing in-home services for an individual with an ongoing chronic condition such as Alzheimer’s disease or impaired mobility.

Professional caregivers can help with personal care, meal preparation and light housekeeping, attentive companionship, transportation to appointments and more. This support makes it possible for your loved one to remain safely at home in a familiar environment.  It promotes independence and offers sorely needed respite for the family caregivers.

Getting Started With Home Care

If you are considering professional home care to assist you with your caregiving responsibilities, there are a number of things to consider:

Ask friends for references for reputable home care agencies. When screening home care agencies, inquire about hourly rate, minimum number of hours per visit and caregiver consistency.  Ask if the agency follows NJ Best Practices for home care agencies.

Make sure you and your loved one are comfortable with someone else taking on some of the tasks that you’ve been doing yourself.  It's important for all involved to understand and agree that there is the need for home care services.

Define the tasks that are required of the caregiver. This helps determine exactly what type of home care is most appropriate.

Home care agency or independent caregiver?

If you consider hiring an independent caregiver, think first of your responsibilities as the caregiver's employer. Who is responsible for employment taxes or liability in the event of a mishap?  It's a good idea to have a job description and employment agreement. Confirm that the caregiver can legally work in the US and has no history of criminal activity. 

A home care agency handles all the employment concerns including payroll, taxes, benefits, scheduling, training, and supervision.  There is rarely a break in service because the agency provides a replacement when your regular caregiver is unavailable or if you request a change.

Fellowship Helping Hands for Care at Home
Fellowship Helping Hands conducts the necessary pre-employment screening required for our team of New Jersey state Certified Home Health Aides, including a criminal background check, and health and drug screening. Our caregivers undergo a comprehensive orientation and ongoing training that is specific to their roles as home care providers (i.e. fall prevention, nutrition, dehydration, safety, etc.). 

We also offer dementia and Alzheimer's sensitivity training which is extremely beneficial to clients with memory care needs. All caregivers are supervised by a Registered Nurse who performs an initial assessment and develops a Plan of Care for the client.  Clients and family members can reach out to our Nurse to discuss any caregiver concerns.

Contact Fellowship Helping Hands at 877-637-9566 for more information

Start The New Year Right With Superfoods

January 28, 2018

The Fellowship Senior Living Catering and Culinary Services team are expert at creating delicious meals for the residents of Fellowship Village.  But their role is not limited to coming up with interesting culinary experiences.  There is also an emphasis on educating residents about making nutritious food choices. 

Every month, in addition to our usual healthy fare, the team focuses on a particular superfood which is included in meals throughout the month. Our registered dietician prepares informational materials and presentations for residents to learn more about the food's benefits.

What are Superfoods?

Superfoods are primarily plant-based foods-but also include some fish and dairy-that are full of antioxidents, healthy fats, phytochemicals, fiber and probiotics. Superfoods are "real" and not processed, and are considered especially beneficial to our well-being.  Here are some samples of superfoods:

Apples are low in caleries, high in fiber and other nutrients.
Avocados offer good fats, vitiamins and minerals, and help boost absorption of nutrients from other foods.
Berries are bursting with antioxidents and phytochemicals that support the immune system.
Citrus fruits are nutrient-rich, packed with vitamin C.
Dark chocolate contains high levels of flavinoids.
Leafy greens are rich in nutients and fiber.
Legumes are loaded with fiber and protein.
Nuts and seeds offer protein, nutients and healthy fats.
Oats have fiber and heart-healthy benefits.
Salmon is a lean protein with heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
Whole grains are packed with protein and fiber.
Yogurt is a source of calcium, protein and probiotics.

Over eating any particular superfood is not a cure-all, nor is it recommended for a healthy diet. The key is moderation, portion control and choosing a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, lean protein sources and healthy fats. For instance, while nuts are considered superfoods, they are also high in fat.  Consuming a few handfuls of cashews while watching the evening news will pack on the pounds in no time.

Add these superfoods to your daily meal plan and you'll be off to a great start for a healthy New Year.

Hydration and Dehydration

June 26, 2017

Contributed by Carole Clausen, Personal Trainer, Fellowship Senior Living

Hydration is a vital element to staying healthy.  Older adults may have a diminished sense of thirst, urinary incontinence, or take medications that impact fluid intake or fluids stored in the body. Therefore it is important for older adults to maintain adequate fluid intake.

Proper hydration supports an intricate system of keeping the fluids and electrolytes balanced in our bodies. Water is essential for maintaining this fluid balance as it helps control body temperature; assists the body in insulating itself against cold; delivers nutrients and medications to cells and carries away waste; keeps mouth, nose, eyes, and skin moist; ensures proper volume of blood; and keeps the urinary tract flushed out, thus reducing the risk of urinary tract infections.

The recommended daily fluid intake to keep your body hydrated is 48 to 64 ounces, or 6 to 8 eight ounce glasses. This may sound like a lot, but your daily hydration requirement needn't be filled entirely from the tap. Foods and beverages that contribute to your daily intake levels include milk, soup, fruit and vegetable juices, gelatin, apples, watermelon, decaffeinated soft drinks, tea, and even cooked broccoli. Caffeinated drinks and alcohol do not contribute to your daily intake.  They actually act as diuretics-contributing to water loss-and should be consumed in moderation.

The first sign of dehydration is usually thirst, which generally occurs when there is a 1 to 2% loss of body water.  At a 2-5% loss, symptoms can include dry mouth, flushed skin, headache, fatigue and impaired physical performance. A 6% loss may cause increases in body temperature, heart rate and breathing. With an 8% loss, one may experience dizziness, confusion, increased weakness and labored breathing with daily activites. A loss of 10% body water may cause muscle spasms, swollen tongue and delirium. When the loss drops to 11%, symptoms include poor circulation and failing kidney function.

Don't wait for thirst and other symptoms of dehydration to take action.  Actively prevent fluid loss by starting your morning with water or juice and carry a bottle of water wherever you go. Drink water before, during and after physical activity and take water breaks throughout the day. Eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables daily.


For more information, call (877) 866-3480 

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